Monday 31 May 2021

The Snake and the Dragonfly

 I've got a lot of steps in this weekend, Friday saw my bimbling out to Winthorpe Lake of which more later - there wasn't a lot to see to be honest - and today took me out to Hawton and Farndon, two nearby villages which are both very attractive.

The house at valrerian corner is a highlight for me at Hawton, although there were no hummingbird hawk moths as I've sometimes seen here, and the pastures around Farndon are painted yellow with buttercups at the moment.

But today saw a couple of really exciting firsts for me.

The first came on the road halfway between Hawton and Farndon. Whenever I cross a stream of water, I always take a look down on the off chance of seeing a fish, or perhaps a little egret on the hunt, but when I looked down into a small beck, I saw stunned to see a sinuous black shape swimming along.

For a split second I thought it might be an eel, then spotted a head with a collar of gold around the neck. It was of course a grass snake, swimming along happy as larry before slithering out when it came across a branch in the water.

I was too shocked to even reach for my phone to take a picture.

It's the first snake I've ever seen in the wild.

I know we get grass snakes in the area, I've seen photos, but never thought I'd be lucky enough to see one myself. What a find!

Slightly less dramatically but no less interesting, I encountered a 4 spotted chaser dragonfly on a tree near Fanrdon Ponds. This was my first dragonfly of the year, and the first of this species I've managed to photograph, although it took about 20 attempts to get one in focus!

All in all, 20,000 very worthwhile steps today!

All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 31.05.21


  1. Magnificent photos as always, and particularly love the dragonfly - captured in the nd.

  2. Beautiful photos, specially the dragonfly. How exciting to see a grass snake too! I saw one once as a child on holiday in Cornwall but never since, and we don't have them in Scotland (adders are our only snakes).